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Gouverneur Central School mulling transportation options

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GOUVERNEUR — Gouverneur Central School is considering changes in its transportation of students so that younger pupils are no longer on the bus with older children.

The transportation study and proposals requested by the district from service providers will also consider safety, time spent on the bus, cutting down on transfers, and maintaining special buses, such as for sports, Superintendent Lauren F. French said.

The operation of Gouverneur Central School’s transportation system has been provided for years by First Student, which could be chosen to continue doing so.

A pre-bid conference — required as part of providing a proposal — was attended by four providers, including First Student.

“Any of the four could be a contender,” Mrs. French said.

Several factors led to the district’s decision to rethink how it buses students, including separating younger pupils from older ones on different runs.

“We are one of the few districts that still runs a single trip,” Mrs. French said. “Parents are very interested in that.”

Since 1981, the district has closed three elementary schools — Brasie Corners, Richville, and Fowler — but has not made substantial changes in bus routes. Since that time, the district’s enrollment has dropped by about 1,000.

School officials will also consider more than 50 questions posed by parents when they make recommendations on any changes, Mrs. French said.

The school board could discuss proposals this month and make a decision on the transportation provider Feb. 24, but any changes likely will not come this year.

“We’re not looking to have any change until September,” Mrs. French said.

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